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The Blakes

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Taking inspiration from early-'60s Brit rock and the D.I.Y. spirit of punk, the Blakes are comprised of Garnet Keim (vocals, guitar), Snow Keim, and Bob Husak (drummer). The power trio took root in 2001, when the Maine-born Keim siblings (who had been busking across the country since the late '90s, working odd jobs and writing music) met Husak at a Seattle coffeehouse. The Keims were impressed with Husak's percussion, likening its energy to that of the Who's Keith Moon, and the three relocated to Los Angeles to write material for their newly minted band. After two years, the Blakes left the coast on a self-booked tour, playing unpaid shows and holding impromptu practices at truck stops. Upon returning home to Seattle, they issued the self-released Little Whispers EP in 2005, effectively gaining the attention of local radio station KEXP. The station's influential DJs -- most notably programming director John Richards -- proved to be early champions of the Blakes, giving them extensive airplay and broadcasting an in-studio performance as well. The Blakes responded by issuing a second EP the following year -- this one self-titled and self-released -- and were subsequently signed by local label Light in the Attic. 2007 saw the release of the Streets EP; later that year, the Blakes reissued their self-titled EP as an official full-length album, complete with remastered sound and additional tracks. ~ Andrew Leahey